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                                                                                               Prayers of the People/Intercession on Nations

Calls to Worship on the Nations

God of grace, power and glory, and our Heavenly Father: You raise up nations in your grace and holiness; and You bring down nations who go after and serve other gods of their own making. You are good–and You are strong; so we run to You today. Our world shakes–and we are shaken. Earthquakes; political unrest; genocide; war and terrorism; nuclear fear and military tension …

As Lord of nations and the Creator who holds the whole earth in the palm of your hand–come! Protect hostages, encourage quake victims, comfort those who grieve and give wisdom to those seeking political solutions. Loved ones suffer and we are helpless to relieve their suffering. Heal them of their sicknesses or comfort them in their griefs–Lord Jesus: you can do what we can’t do. We ask You to heal those who are sick or injured, recovering in hospitals or recuperating in homes.

Restore them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Console those who mourn with hope in Your resurrection and help them in Your presence with them. For a husband and wife who feel like they’re all alone or married to a stranger: Help them find a path back to one another. Renew a love that’s lost or forgotten. Enable them to say “I’m sorry” and “Will you forgive me?”

Enable parents to love their children with patience, grace, encouragement and understanding; and for children to honor their parents with deference and respect. For one overshadowed by depression, discouragement or despair: Give her hope. Open his eyes to his own worth as one You made, redeemed and love.

For one seeking a job: give him meaningful work. For one seeking a friend: Give her someone who cares and who she can care for. For one seeking a purpose: Give him a clear calling to serve You, and others, in your name; and set him free to do great things with the gifts and talents You give them. For ones seeking salvation from guilt, shame and sin: Show them The Savior, Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died so they might live, and who is raised so they may live forever.

For Your Church: revival in the Truth and in Your Spirit! For our preacher: speak to us through him/her clearly and powerfully. What is of You: may we do and never forget; what is not of You: may we not do and never remember. All this (and more) we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Richard Herman


 

Lord of grace and truth: You meet us where we’re at.  And when everybody lies to us, you speak with candor and honesty about what’s good, right and true.  We can trust you–and we do.  That’s why we can rejoice with you in what is new: a new life, a new relationship, new opportunities, new commitments to You, and all the things you make new in and for us. 

That’s also why we can turn you with what keeps us awake at night. We lift up those we love who are in need of healing today–that you would restore bodies that are sick or injured, minds and emotions that are troubled or damaged. 

Please heal our friends and loved ones; and encourage those who give them care. We hold close to our hearts and hold up to yours, those who grieve today–whether that grief is fresh or lingering; and we ask you to please comfort them in your love, refresh them with your peace, and encourage them with resurrection hope. 

We pray for our nation—that we’ll live up to our ideals: of justice for all, the value of life, compassion for the poor and persecuted, and the freedom to do what is good for others.  Empower our nation’s leaders to lead us in good and right ways; and protect our young men and women who serve in dangerous places as well as those who call those places “home.”  

Bless Your church as we seek to be faithful and help us to get it right more often.  Make us a colony of heaven, Lord, where the ways and truth of your Kingdom are seen by all.  This is our prayer–in Your name, to your glory.  AMEN

Richard Herman


 

Compassionate God—In Christ, you enter our condition; you experience our sorrow and our joy, and redeem them. By Your Holy Spirit, you carry us along: in crisis and celebration, in despair and accomplishment, defeat and victory.  We’re never alone … thank You.  What we know—You know; which means we can come to you with anything.  

For those we care about who are ill or injured,in pain physically or emotionally: Please heal them, Father. Restore health of body, mind, soul and spirit. Eradicate cancer. Heal broken bones. Defeat infections. 

Make well those recovering from surgery… and do it all to Your glory and the joy of those you heal. We pray on behalf of those who grieve today—knit together broken hearts, comfort those who mourn with your presence and with the presence of Your people, and give them the peace and hope of the resurrection in your Son, Jesus. 

We pray for our world, for you are the Lord over all countries and nations, kings, prime-ministers and presidents.  We pray for our own nation: that you’d raise up the leaders we need—not necessarily the ones we deserve. 

We pray on behalf of those in places where there’s too much water, and others where there is too little, for those who have too much and those with almost nothing at all, for the powerful and the powerless; and we ask that You’ll act to protect the weak, help the displaced, provide for the poor and challenge the strong to use their resources for what’s good and righteous. 

Please protect those whose duty takes them into dangerous places—and those who call those same places their home.  And comfort the families of those whose duty cost their lives.  For the church—we ask you to be gracious with us, especially when we screw things up; and we do that a lot.  Keep us faithful to Your Word. 

Enable us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world you call us to be.  Help us to speak the truth and live the truth but always gracefully and with love.  Guide, revive and empower us as a congregation; and do likewise in the larger Church to which we belong. This we pray in Jesus’ name. AMEN

Richard Herman


 

Lord of families, tribes, peoples, nations and all the world: it’s for freedom You’ve set us free from sin, guilt, and judgment; free to do what is right and just, what is compassionate, gracious and loving.  We’re free to be who You made us to be.  We’re free to come to You as we are with anything.  We’re free to come to you in prayer—… and we do.  We come praying for those whose freedom means they serve to protect our freedom.  

Guard our young men and women serving in harm’s way, anywhere duty may call them. Make them good and wise, cautious, truthful, and caring–may they represent this nation well; and may those who know You be Your ambassadors, even in uniform.  

We come praying for our nation’s leaders—our president and vice-president, the congress and judiciary: that they’ll be wise in Your ways for not only our nation, but for all nations, just and truthful in their convictions, and compassionate in their actions.  When they need courage to do what is right rather than what is expedient, or courage to set aside their own or our own self-interest in order to love justice, mercy and truth for all, then give them such courage.  

And for us as citizens—make us mindful of our dual citizenship: as people of Your heavenly kingdom first and foremost, and also of this earthly nation as well; and help us not to confuse our loyalties.  For those in need of healing today—we pray for You to heal them and to encourage their care-givers.  For those in need of comfort in the midst of grief—we ask for peace, consolation and hope.  

For the isolated and lonely—we pray for Your companionship and for the friendship of others to encourage them.  For victims of disaster—earthquakes, floods, wildfires, drought–we pray for Your protection and provision, and for people who will care for them in Your name.  We pray, also, for Your church.  

We ask for Your forgiveness for our stupidity and our unfaithfulness to Your Word and Your Ways of truth and holiness.  Give us the moral strength, the spiritual wisdom and persistent faithfulness to live, act and be as lights in this world’s darkness, as a life-giving community in deadly times, and as a safe place on a dangerous journey home.  We want to be faithful to You—help us! Please!  These are the prayers of our heart–or at least some of them–offered up in the name that’s above every name: Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN 

Richard Herman


Gracious God of love–Father, Son and Holy Spirit: We are grateful that You’ve revealed yourself to us, telling us that each of us are loved by You as children, each precious in Your sight, each a reflection of You, each bound together by love, which is Your presence among us. We come to you, O God, weary and carrying heavy burdens. 

Some of us bear the yoke of illness–and so we lift to you our needs for healing, and for others in need of being made well. Some of us, as caregivers, bear the yoke of caring for those who can’t care for themselves: enable us to not grow weary in well-doing, continuing to love and serve with our compassion. 

Some of us bear a yoke of loss and grief–comfort all who grieve with Your presence and love as expressed through we who bear the name of Christ. Compassionate God: there are other yokes, too. For some of us bear the yoke of unemployment or underemployment; some of us bear the yoke of hunger; some of us bear the yoke of homelessness; some of us bear the yoke of violence; some of us bear the yoke of anger; some of us bear the yoke of loneliness; some of us bear the yoke of depression; some of us bear the yoke of addiction. 

Free us from these and other yokes, dear God, as …we pray for rest; we pray for healing; we pray for release; and we pray for wholeness. This week we recognize that our nation also bears many burdens: we don’t trust our leaders; we can’t find ways to work together for the common good; we allow the least among us to suffer and languish; we lose our children to endless conflicts and wars; we fixate on what divides us rather than on what unites us as one people. Remind us this week of our calling. 

Remind us of our common creed that all people are created equal. Inspire us to ensure that all of your children enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Help us to be profoundly grateful for our freedom and security, to never take these gifts for granted, and to use them for the betterment of all. God of all life, may peace and justice fill our land and, indeed, the whole world. We pray today for escalating tension and violence in the world…and for places around the globe where people are victimized, where safety is threatened, where freedoms are denied, where life is treated as anything less than sacred. Gracious God, grant us the yoke of Christ, binding us together, tethered by your love, guided by your presence, bringing your kingdom into this world. It is for this kingdom that we now pray. Amen.

Richard Herman